When I first started practicing yoga, handstands weren’t the inversion of choice. This was 1999 in NYC. I practiced yoga at a random studio/loftspace/illegal housing situation in the East Village.
My teacher was a middle-aged Israeli guy who taught a fairly traditional style of yoga. We did the same poses pretty much every single time, generally ending with headstand, shoulder stand, and fish pose.
I think we did a handstand, maybe once.
In fact, I actually remember the one time we did handstand because it was so unexpected and random. There was no instruction. Just a demo from my teacher and “now you do it.”
I vaguely remember kicking up at the wall without thinking much about it and coming down almost as quickly.
A few years later, still in NYC, I started taking classes at a different studio and handstands were a central focus to almost every class I attended.
We did handstands in lots of different ways. If the class was smaller in size, we’d usually do handstands at the wall because there was enough space for each of us to have a bit of wall to ourselves. In the larger classes, we’d do them with partners in the middle of the room.
I loved the idea of doing a handstand but I couldn’t seem to do one without help.
Even though I was young and reasonably strong, I couldn’t get upside down on my own, which frustrated me.
So I practiced a lot. When I was waiting to get on the elliptical machine at the gym, I’d practice trying to kick up against the mirrors. Thankfully, I didn’t ever break anything. I used the front door of my tiny apartment on 97th street as a wall for practice, too. Eventually, after months of practice, I was able to get up at the wall. It felt like a massive victory for my body and for experiencing the rewards of a consistent, dedicated practice.
Then it was another 10 years before I could do handstand away from the wall.
I think there are lots of reasons why there was such a huge gap.
One is that I wasn’t really practicing as consistently.
The other big reason is that I wasn’t practicing as strategically.
And then, of course, there was the fear of falling.
I can’t help you with the first or the last, but I can help you practice more strategically.
If you want to feel more confident in your handstand practice, there are 5 poses that make handstand easier. These are the poses that I practiced more often when I started to get a little more serious about balancing in handstand away from the wall.
I created a 20 minute video with these 5 poses to make handstand easier.
These poses are a fundamental part of my movement practice and represent the foundational actions needed to make handstand easier.
If you have a handstand goal, these poses and actions will help you feel more strong and confident when you practice handstand.
If you have no interest in handstand, this practice will be a fun way to build more core strength and upper body confidence.
Win-win, either way.
If you give this practice a try, let me know how it goes!
And if you want to work even more strategically on handstand, I have something really great for you.
I created a 4-class series that takes you through specific drills, poses, and actions that will help you work more strategically on your handstand.
Each video has a different focus and the 4 videos build from more foundational actions to more complex actions.
If your goal is to get up into handstand at the wall, this video series will help you get there.
if your goal is to work on balancing away from the wall, this video series will give you the step by step process to make that happen.
This 4-part video series is free for members of my online studio, so if you want access join the Collective (and also do live yoga classes with me twice a week) or join LITE (and do a bunch of awesome pre-recorded classes every month).
If funds are low, please reach out to me directly. I give partial and full scholarships to my online studio.
You can also try them out for a month for free using the code YOGASUPPORT.
If your goal is to make handstand easier, I created this video series for you. Hop on into the amazing community in my online studio and get access today!